The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 9, 2013

Don Steese column: Flushing count shows success


This kind of recovery can only happen when there’s enough idle land planted with the right kind of pheasant cover. CREP is the name of the program that establishes and maintains this kind of habitat here in Pennsylvania. The more land enrolled in the CREP program, the more the chances of pheasant survival. The grasses that are used in the program also benefit many other species of farmland wildlife, so it’s not just beneficial to those of us who are interested in bringing back wild pheasants.

As with everything else, the program is going to have it’s detractors. There are those who are constantly questioning the PGC about when hunting will be allowed in the area in question. There are those who say the money could be better spent on improving habitat for ruffed grouse, a bird native to Pennsylvania. There are also those who believe that the money should be spent to stock more pen-raised birds. I happen to disagree.

I don’t hunt pheasants anymore and probably wouldn’t even if we had them in great numbers. I go west each year and drive through some of the best pheasant country in the U.S., on my way to hunt other birds. I simply think there are other birds that are more mannerly around a pointing dog.

However, I love knowing that there are wild pheasants thriving within a few miles of my house. I like to drive around in late summer and see hens with chicks or sit by a quiet roadside and hear cocks crowing.

I salute the folks who have worked long and hard to make this program a success!

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